Patient Resource

Spare the Scalpel, spoil the patient

An interesting statistic emerged this week revealing that in the US, 75% of all cosmetic procedures performed by plastic and cosmetic surgeons in 2008 were now non-surgical. Yes, it seems that the revolution in non-surgical, non-invasive procedures is gradually replacing the need for an increasing number of more traditional plastic surgery procedures. But just what are these new technologies, what old procedures are they replacing, and how do you know which is right for you?

Dermal Fillers

One of the cosmetic technologies that has had the greatest impact in the past few years has been the increasing popularity of dermal fillers. Made from a substance found naturally in the human body, these injectables are used to plump sallow or sagging cheeks and lips, fill out hollows from the eyes, rejuvenate folds of the face around the nose and mouth, to push out deep set wrinkles. With just an hour or two in consulting room, a cosmetic surgeon can now achieve results that were once only possible under local or general anesthetic.


While in the past, a patient wanting to improve the symmetry or fullness of their cheekbones would have limited options, usually confined to some sort of surgical implant procedure. The problem was that not only was this kind of procedure expensive and painful, it also came with a long recovery time, not to mention an unacceptably high chance of potential infection. Another problem with the procedure was it was difficult to gauge – even for the most experienced surgeon – just how large to make the implants. And because of the high cost of the procedure, removing the implants was another potential cost.

Luckily, fillers can be applied to the cheek area in a fraction of the time, allowing a skilled injector to add as much or as little as required, resulting in a smooth, natural looking result, without huge downtime, pain or cost.


Another area of the body where dermal fillers have become the standard procedure is the lip area. Where previously, a surgeon would have to use an implant made of materials like Gore-Tex, now a qualified injector can use fillers in tiny amounts of just the right consistency to create youthfully plump and smooth lips in just minutes, and all without the same cost, pain, or risk of infection.


While a breast augmentation operation or ‘boob job’ used to be the accepted norm for women wanting to enhance, reduce, or create greater symmetry for her breasts, these days there are a range of new techniques available. For women wanting a lift, dermal fillers can again now be used – though in greater quantities – in the increasingly popular ‘boob jab’ procedure. This treatment sees a qualified injector place a large quantity of strong dermal filler in the breast area, lifting it without a scalpel in sight.

A final note

These are not the sum of new less invasive procedures. There are new alternatives for breast reduction, liposuction and many other poplar complaints. Before undergoing any of the treatments above, however, make sure you do your research. After all, there are still plastic surgeons out there who will try to sell you a more invasive and expensive procedure where a simpler, less expensive one will give you the best results.



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